Aaron Gibson was a petrol head. He believed everything from a toothbrush to roller skates should be run on a petrol motor.
That was until he and teammate Darian Rome qualified for the national Evolocity challenge with their electric trike - now he's officially converted.
The boys qualified for the event after a dizzying array of races at the regional Evolocity challenge which saw schools from across the region compete with their electric-powered bikes and karts the students had designed themselves.
Aaron from Papamoa College was called onto the team for his expertise. Considering he spends every spare second he has in the school workshop, the Year 10 student knows a thing or two.
That's Aaron's happy place. He doesn't say much but when it comes to kart racing he is outspoken.
"I like the circuit race where you have to go around some cones and then some more cones. They haven't seen my best yet."
Word has it the trike has been on two-wheels around some of the cones when Aaron was practising but he would rather do it perfectly in the competition.
For his right-hand man, Darian, it is the "drop-off and pick-up race", which he prefers due to his long limbs giving him an advantage.
"We didn't really practise because we only found out about it the last day we were working on the bike," Darian said.
"But learning how to use the tools around the workshop like the welding and drop saw. It was an experience I haven't done before and that was the part I enjoyed the most."
Darian can see himself heading towards a career in engineering but, for the moment, he has his sights solely set on the nationals in November.
"It will be great to see all the karts again because I know there will be some tweaks depending on what it struggled in at regionals."
While their tweaks are remaining top secret in fear the competition might be reading, the boy's technology teacher Mike Wright said the best thing about the challenge was there was no prescribed design.
"The project had a purpose. Rather than building it for their own interests, it had to meet specifications and it was going to be competitive.
"They had to design the vehicle with different races in mind and not just for leisure."
The competition has a couple of key objectives executive director of Evolocity Rob McEwen said.
"It's partly about opening young people's eyes to the possibilities of engineering careers. But it's also about turning the drivers of both today and tomorrow onto electric vehicles.
"Our school's programme is educating young people on how electric vehicles work and what their performance and environmental benefits are. And our events are educating all ages of people as to the performance, economic and environmental benefits of electric vehicles."